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Speed Up Your WordPress Site With 16 Approaches That Will Increase Traffic & Conversions
Why WordPress Site Speed Matters
Our society has never been more dependent on technology. Nowadays we do business online more than ever and this is the path of the future. Due to its simplicity, millions of businesses operate through a WordPress site. In order to be competitive in this economic climate, we need more traffic and a high conversion rate.
Internet always had a need for speed but the requirements are increasing because it affects how long will visitors stay on your site, how many of them will be converted to actual customers, where do you rank in organic search. Still not sure why website speed matters? Statistics show that second delay results in a 7% loss in conversions and even 16% loss in user satisfaction.
In short, no matter how good your WordPress website is – if it is not loading fast enough – you will definitely lose visitors and thus have fewer conversions…and this means losing money. Nobody wants that, right?
If your website is performing slowly, it is about time to speed it up and get more revenue! We’re here to help and for this reason, we gathered the 16 best techniques to speed up your WordPress site. All these approaches will work in your favor, will increase traffic, conversion rates and eventually increase your profit – so the more you implement – the better!
How To Speed Up WordPress
1. Pick the Right Web Host
It is no coincidence that we are mentioning the Web Host factor in the first place. Having a proper web host is the base for every fast website, whether WordPress or not. The web hosting market is flooded with options and after some online research, you can find quality service providers that would work for your speed needs.
2. Start With a Lightweight Framework/Theme
When we are talking about WordPress sites primarily, we have to mention that some themes are loading very fast while others don’t work that well. Always test the loading speed on the theme’s demo page. That way you will have an idea how this theme works in terms of speed before you purchase it.
3. Keep Your WordPress updated
The updates that we receive are here for a reason. They come with optimizations and improvements that make our websites faster. Always update your WordPress as soon as possible in order to benefit from the new features.
4. Keep Your plugins Updated
The same advice applies to the used plugins. Plugin updates include improvements that everyone should benefit from. It is crucial to update your plugins when a notification appears.
5. Remove The Plugins You Don’t Need
While updating the plugins you can check if you have some that are not that needed. The reason for this is that plugins are responsible for more than 85% of your total loading time. Remove any inactive plugins and see how your loading speed improves.
6. Reduce Misc HTTP Requests
7. Optimizing The Structure Of Your Homepage
Your homepage is the entrance to your website – so it needs to be fast. In order to do this, reduce the amount of posts and widgets that need to be loaded. Making a good first impression is crucial and this action will enhance your user’s experience.
8. Use an Effective Caching Plugin
Caching accelerates your web pages because it delivers the last known version to your users, rather than producing a new one every time. Using a WordPress caching plugin will do the best job, especially if you’re using a shared hosting account.
9. Optimize Your WordPress Database
Optimizing your WordPress database means to delete unnecessary data like fake users, spam comments or drafts that will never see daylight. There are plugins like WP-DB Manager or WP-Optimize that will do the trick and also have a scheduling feature that will always keep your database optimized.
10.Using a CDN
If you are not aware of this abbreviation CDN stands for content delivery network, which is a system of distributed servers that deliver web content to the user, depending on his/her geographical location, the webpage origin and content delivery server. What are the benefits of using a CDN?
- Your Site Will Load Faster With a CDN
Since the distance between the user’s browser and your hosting server is one of the biggest factors for slowing down your loading speed, being physically close to the hosting server might do wonders. This is achieved by using a CDN because it is the closest you can get to establish a global hosting setup for your pages.
- Your Website Will Be Safer With a CDN
Nowadays security is a top priority and using a CDN will improve that aspect as well. There are dozens of statistics showing that half of every webpage’s traffic comes from bots and half of them have bad intentions. Hopefully, most of the modern CDNs identify and stop harmful bots expeditiously. The CDN network uses its collective knowledge to block unwanted actions.
- Your Site is Protected Against Traffic Based Attacks With a CDN
Traffic is a good thing unless it is in huge unhealthy proportions. There are attacks called DDoS, where web servers send so much traffic to your pages that your real users are not able to access them.
In order to help you with DDoS attacks, the CDN server is using the reverse proxy approach, meaning that the malicious visitors will firstly collide into the closest CDN server. Modern CDNs work with intelligent algorithms that will identify any malicious traffic and will stop it before it reaches your site.
- Faster Web Design And Development
In order to fully optimize your website so that it is performing flawlessly, you’ll need to use a number of additional plug-ins. Fulfilling these performance optimizations is almost impossible by using a typical WordPress plug-in.
CDNs have built-in image optimization, static and dynamic content caching and dynamic file compression, which makes the whole optimization process far easier. The CDNs also handle session reuse optimization, TCP connection pre-pooling and improving the SSL/TLS handshake processes.
Use Key CDN for maximum results (they are the great alternative for Max CDN).
11. Optimize Media Files
Visual content has never been of such importance for the market. Today’s high-quality cameras produce images and videos that are sometimes too good for the purposes of web usage.
- Optimizing Images
If your WordPress site has a lot of images optimizing their files might increase your website’s speed remarkably. This “optimization” might be achieved in various ways like choosing the perfect file format (JPG, GIF or PNG), sizing the images properly (decreasing image size if not needed), compressing the image files (via WP Smush).
- Optimizing Video
Optimizing your video content is also crucial for loading speed. Always choose the perfect file format (MP4 in most cases), eliminate the audio track if the audio is not used and compress the video file. You can also try cutting the aspect of your video depending on your user’s displays, reducing your video’s length if possible or uploading the video to YouTube instead of serving them locally.
12. Leverage Browser Caching
Another good method for increasing your website’s loading speed is Browser Caching. With this approach, your website’s elements are stored in your users’ browser and are pre-used the next time when they visit the website. That way they don’t send a new HTTP request but are just loaded from the cache.
Browser Caching can definitely reduce loading speed as only new elements will be downloaded on the specific pages. Less downloaded files mean less loading time, which will eventually result in more traffic.
- Browser caching for .htaccess
Check out here for more detailed – Leverage browser caching
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/png “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType text/css “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/html “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/pdf “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access 1 year”
ExpiresDefault “access 1 month”
## EXPIRES CACHING ##
13. Enable GZIP Compression
As we said compression is crucial for a fast WordPress website. Enable GZIP compression to reduce the used bandwidth and loading speed of every page. GZIP compression makes your needed files smaller and is achieved via plugins like GZip Ninja Speed Optimization or any other that suits you.
15. Enabling Keep-Alive
Enabling Keep-Alive represents the usage of a single Transmission Control Protocol connection that will handle multiple HTTP requests, rather than using a new connection for each of them. You can check if your web host has this function already, but even if it doesn’t just copy the code snippet below in your .htaccess file.
Header set Connection keep-alive
16. Keep External Scripts To a Minimum
External scripts slow down your site significantly. Reduce these big portions of user data and work with only the really essential ones. For example, use only tracking tools or commenting systems like Google Analytics and Disqus respectively.
Today’s business world depends heavily on its online presence and thus online marketing is vital for every company. If we continue to dig deeper, speed is crucial for the experience of the user and every website should present the best loading speed they could.
Speeding up a website is not a single task, but anybody can do it with a little effort. So maybe it is a good idea to try out our 16 methods to speed up your WordPress site and eventually bring more traffic and profit to it. The good outcome is guaranteed!
Online marketing is crucial for every business owner nowadays. Every customer turns to a website before they even think of buying a product or service. So the users’ experience needs to be exquisite in order to bring new customers.
Slow loading speed has a direct negative impact on your visitors as nobody will wait additional seconds to get to the needed information – they will just switch to the next website. So, for this reason, we’ve gathered the 16 best techniques to speed up your WordPress site. By using them your website will load faster, satisfy your visitors, bring more traffic and increase conversions!